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Does this happen a lot? Bummed...

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  • Does this happen a lot? Bummed...

    Im a first time breeder, but my mare has 3 babies on the ground. I started the breeding process in late March with a culture and some preliminary blood work. The culture came back with some growths, mare was treated for 3 days with antibiotics. Skipped a cycle, re-cultured and the results just came back yesterday showing more growths.

    Each time we culture the mare, my vet schedules to have her shipped to the clinic within the next day or two for the breeding. Being a first time breeder, I get excited and giddy, only to get the call at 7am that we need to treat again.

    My vet said it is pretty common for a mare to go through more than one round of cultures/antibiotics, but how many?

    I knew this was going to be an expensive process, but Im up to 8 farm calls with 3 ultrasounds, 3 days of antibiotics and probably 5 or 6 more shots of oxytet that I give later in the day. If I have to go through 4 or 5 rounds of antibiotics, I am wondering if it is worth it? Or do you just bite the bullet and try to breed?

    Is there any other procedures to eliminate (reduce?) the bacteria in the uterus?

  • #2
    Originally posted by confusedTB View Post
    My vet said it is pretty common for a mare to go through more than one round of cultures/antibiotics, but how many?
    With the exception of a couple really nasty, difficult pathogens or if your mare has some reproductive conformation issues that require a Caslick, usually one go round with antibiotics is sufficient.

    Is there any other procedures to eliminate (reduce?) the bacteria in the uterus?
    Depends on what the pathogen is. Is your vet doing a cytology in conjunction with the culture? Many pathogens can be a contaminant that isn't in the uterus and is picked up when pulling the swab. A cytology will give you a good indication if the pathogen is actually in the uterus or a contaminant.

    Good luck!
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    • #3
      I believe that most vets treat on a breeding cycle ie they breed the mare and treat her at the same time (unless you have something really nasty as Kathy said, which is why you do a cytology) and treat by flushing rather than rounds of anti-biotics? Or am I way off base here? Is your vet really reproductively experienced?
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Molly Malone View Post
        I believe that most vets treat on a breeding cycle ie they breed the mare and treat her at the same time (unless you have something really nasty as Kathy said, which is why you do a cytology) and treat by flushing rather than rounds of anti-biotics? Or am I way off base here? Is your vet really reproductively experienced?
        That has also been my experience too...

        I would say if you mare keeps getting contaminated, maybe she needs a caslicks...
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        • #5
          Got a wonderful mare last year from fellow COTH'er City Ponies. She got this girl out of a bad situation.

          I was hoping to breed her in 2009. I too was (am) a first time breeder. Stallion was chosen, booked & paid for. I was giddy with excitement.

          I could not get a clean culture last year. She had not been caslicks'd after her 2008 foal and being an older broodie (and still a bit underweight) her conformation "back there" was not good. The uterus was totally contaminated.

          We did 4 rounds of antibiotic uterine infusions and never did get a clean culture. It was always e.coli so we knew the problem.

          I decided to just put in a caslicks and wait for 2010. The stallion owner was FABULOUS (Mary Slouka - Cunningham).

          I took her in mid March for a culture and it was neg. She was bred on April 10th and I am crossing everything I have until she is preg checked next week.

          Good luck! Breeding can be so discouraging but so very amazing at the same time.
          Animals are not disposable!!!
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          • #6
            Yup, stitch her up
            I wasn't always a Smurf
            Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
            "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
            The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              So I've been doing some research on various bacterial infections...

              The first culture showed very low levels of E.coli and Im waiting to hear what the second culture will show, but if E.coli is sometimes a naturally occurring bacteria in the uterus, what are the risks of breeding her with low levels of E.coli?

              Theoretically I would want a perfectly negative culture (especially since I have a limited amount of semen to work with) but for education's sake...what are the potential issues involved? I've read a few abortive cases, but most are related to other bacterial infections. I also read that you can treat certain infections during/shortly after insemination...are there any benefits of doing this? I am concerned about continuing to culture her and therefore allowing more bacteria to enter.


              Also re: the caslick's procedure, I read a couple different things about breeding, then doing the procedure or doing the procedure and waiting a period of time before breeding? What is common? The mare in question is a bit older and has 3 other babies, but according to my vet has fairly descent conformation...is this procedure really successful for preventing bacteria from entering?

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              • #8
                Where are you located?

                If you don't mind my question, what part of the country are you in? We are a small breeder and moved several years ago from one part of the country to another. It has been my personal experience that a vet can make a huge difference. I took my previous repo vet for granted, I really didn't give it much thought.

                After moving I hired a new farm vet. Great, young vet. If you have a sick animal, a lame animal, he is your guy. He is not, however, a very experienced repo guy and we missed several mares the first year here. It was then I decided that not everybody can be an expert in everything and I now drive my mares an hour and a half to a great repo vet. They stay a very short time and more often than not are bred easily and quickly.

                Have you done a biopsy on this mare? Your culture should give you a good place to start. Check with Equine Repo once you know what you dealing with, they are a wealth of info. Good luck.
                www.Somermistfarm.com
                Quality Hunter Ponies

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by confusedTB View Post
                  Also re: the caslick's procedure, I read a couple different things about breeding, then doing the procedure or doing the procedure and waiting a period of time before breeding? What is common? The mare in question is a bit older and has 3 other babies, but according to my vet has fairly descent conformation...is this procedure really successful for preventing bacteria from entering?
                  The two times I have had to have had it done the routine was treat her, stitch her up and breed her on the next cycle.
                  Do they check your mare for fluid, IOW delayed uterine clearance, the day after she was bred?
                  I wasn't always a Smurf
                  Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                  "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                  The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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                  • #10
                    If it is E.coli, the the uterus is most likely being contaminated by fecal matter and a Caslicks *should* stop the problem.

                    Not sure about risks regarding breeding her with the positive culture. I know many stallion contracts will not ship semen until they have proof of a mare's current negative uterine culture.

                    Ditto Carol - treat, stitch then reculture in 30 days or so.
                    Animals are not disposable!!!
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                    • #11
                      I also agree about the e-coli and doing a caslicks. But I'm not sure why he didn't flush the mare.
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                      • #12
                        I am not sure about how your vet is doing things...but with us TB breeders the longer we go...the later babies we have...and thats not the goal.

                        I had a group of 16 mares come in....some had NASTY cultures...two kinds of strep, and e coli.....some had caslicks already in place...they were just dirty.

                        Treated them on the same heat cycle. Waited five days, short cycled them, tested immediately again....EVERY single mare came back clean, so we bred immediately as soon as we had a good folicle.

                        I dont want MORE time inbetween heat cycles to become infected with garbage...so we fast track everything.

                        As soon as they are confirmed in foal at 14 days, they are sewn up tight.

                        We also give oxcitocyin (sp?) shots four hours AFTER breeding then two more times 12 hours apart after....trying rid the uterus of fluid.

                        Knock on wood....all mares are in foal thus far.

                        I was so used to using shipped semen till I started dealing with TB's....now we have to get it right...quickly.

                        Learning a lot...and still have a long way to go.

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                        • #13
                          The first culture showed very low levels of E.coli and Im waiting to hear what the second culture will show, but if E.coli is sometimes a naturally occurring bacteria in the uterus, what are the risks of breeding her with low levels of E.coli?
                          THe KEY to this is the cytology that should always accompany the culture. If the levels are low, and there is no evidence of infection (which is what the cytology will show - inflammatory cells/response) then to be brief there is no infection. Just a few random e.coli cells.

                          Ya gotta get a cytology with the culture.
                          "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

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                          • #14
                            The e-coli could be a result of how the Vet did the Culture. We always wrap the mares tail completely with Vet wrap and our Vet washes the mare thoroughly before taking the culture sample. Contamination can happen if this protocol isn't followed.
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                            "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ahf View Post
                              THe KEY to this is the cytology that should always accompany the culture. If the levels are low, and there is no evidence of infection (which is what the cytology will show - inflammatory cells/response) then to be brief there is no infection. Just a few random e.coli cells.

                              Ya gotta get a cytology with the culture.
                              THANK YOU, Kate!!! e.coli is probably one of the MOST common contaminants! When you are passing a culture swab into the cervix, you first must pass through the exterior of the mare, e.g., the vulva and clitoris, which of course sits right under the rectum. Even the best conformed mare will still have bacteria there. And, even if you wash the mare thoroughly before passing the swab, it's not going to be a sterile environment. You then pass through the vaginal vault which again, does have pathogens and if any of those nasty e.coli managed to make a run for it, you'll find a few of them sitting waiting for the opportunity to party on. It just takes picking up a few to turn a culture positive. Doing a cytology is imperative to determine if those bacteria are truly partying in the uterus, or simply a contaminant that was inadvertently picked up on the culture swab.

                              I believe that most vets treat on a breeding cycle ie they breed the mare and treat her at the same time (unless you have something really nasty as Kathy said, which is why you do a cytology) and treat by flushing rather than rounds of anti-biotics? Or am I way off base here? Is your vet really reproductively experienced? f
                              Yes, most often you treat and breed on the same cycle, but typically, there is an antibiotic in the lavage or infusion. Flushing may dilute the pathogens, but certainly won't treat the problem if there is indeed something growing in there.

                              Okay, off to go deal with mares <smile>. It's that time of year!
                              Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                              Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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                              • #16
                                Definitely make sure your vet does a cytology when they do the culture. If the cytology is negative, no need to treat. Breed the mare. http://www.equine-reproduction.com/a...cytology.shtml

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks everyone, very helpful!

                                  Just for some clarity,

                                  My repro vet is excellent with lots of AI experience and comes highly recommended. She is also super helpful at explaining everything to me...Im just trying to get as much information as possible from a variety of sources. She basically does a surgery prep before each culture and is very organized and clean.

                                  I did get a cytology on both cultures, the first came back with enough response cells to warrant a round of antibiotics. I got the preliminary results from the 2nd culture (aka - something was growing, I just dont know what yet) and am waiting for the cytology to figure out what exactly is going on.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I had a general equine vet do the culture and cytology on my mare before I bred her. She came back dirty, so we treated. He didn't tell me what the contaminant was, just that it "wasn't typical for a uterine infection" but it was sensitive to gentamin (or whatever it is). So we treated, waited for the next cycle to do a second culture, and low-and-behold, she's still dirty!

                                    Turns out he was contaminating the swab. I seriously doubt she was dirty the first time to be honest.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by confusedTB View Post
                                      Thanks everyone, very helpful!

                                      Just for some clarity,

                                      My repro vet is excellent with lots of AI experience and comes highly recommended. She is also super helpful at explaining everything to me...Im just trying to get as much information as possible from a variety of sources. She basically does a surgery prep before each culture and is very organized and clean.

                                      I did get a cytology on both cultures, the first came back with enough response cells to warrant a round of antibiotics. I got the preliminary results from the 2nd culture (aka - something was growing, I just dont know what yet) and am waiting for the cytology to figure out what exactly is going on.
                                      Okay, maybe I'm a bit confused, or maybe you are <smile>. But, a cytology is usually done immediately and you don't wait for the results. I'm wondering if you are confusing a cytology with a culture and SENSITIVITY? Big difference. With a culture and sensitivity, you are growing the culture and then testing to see what antibiotics the growth is sensitive to. FWIW, when we did a poll on how many vets did cytologies along with cultures at our courses and on our website a few years back, less than 20% of vets did. I'm hoping those numbers have improved, but it does give one pause. If your vet is not doing a cytology in conjunction with the culture, ask that one be done. Otherwise your culture is next to useless.... Good luck!
                                      Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                                      Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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                                      • #20
                                        Kathy, will tell us when it is most advantageous during a mare's cycle to do the cytology, culture and biopsy procedures, respectively? I have gotten conflicting advice, i.e. do the culture when the mare is not in heat, etc. Thanks in advance. I'd like to have this square in my mind, seems like the answer changes from vet to vet.
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